Building a House, by Bryon Barton

 This simple text story and wonderful bright pictures makes it easy for children to see all that goes into building a house. 

Materials

  •             Pictures of tools
  •             Several large boxes, the bigger the better!
  •             A sharp knife/Exacto blade
  •             5 paintbrushes 2-3 inch width and also rollers
  •             Pictures of animal homes
  •             Block center blueprints
  •             Box of graham crackers, can of frosting, string licorice cut into                small pieces

Vocabulary

Before Reading the Story

Open the book up to the page that reads,” The house is built”.   Ask the children to help name all the parts of a house (window, door, roof, wall, chimney, and step).  Ask the children if they know who the people are that help to build houses, perhaps a parent does some sort of construction.  Explain to the children that it takes lots of people to help build a house.  Turn to the front cover and introduce the book.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.

Reading the Story

 Take your time on each page and talk about what the people are doing.  Talk about the tools and name the objects.  Point out all the work that goes into building a house.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.  AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

After Reading the Story

Ask  the children if they can remember the kinds of work/ers that build the house.  If they are having trouble recalling do a walk through of the book one more time and see if the children can recall what is happening on each page.  Show the children the last page where the family is moving in.  Ask the children to think about where things go on the inside of the house.  Where would you put the oven (kitchen)?  Where would you put the bed, your toothbrush, the TV, the car, etc)? 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction and poetry. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Discover

Make two copies of the animal in their homes cards and cover the back so the children cannot see through the paper.  Use these to play Memory with the children.  Mix all the cards and lay out on the table picture side down.  The children take turns picking up two cards.  If they match, they get to keep them.  If they do not match they must put the cards back on the table picture side down where they found them.  Have the children take turns picking up 2 cards until all the pairs have been found.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Music and Movement

Teach the finger play, Houses.

This is a nest for the Bluebird            Cup both hands, palms up fingers together        
 This is the hive for the bee                 Make a fist with one hand
 This is a hole for the rabbit                Make a hole placing fingers to thumb
 And this is a house for me.                 Fingertips from both hands together to make a peak

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, and poems

Blocks

Make block blueprints and put in center along with hard hats.  To keep these for repeated use, cover them with contact paper.  As the children build with the blocks today, encourage them to read the blueprints and see if they can make the structure using your classroom blocks.  I have included several examples under resources but this works best when you use your own classroom blocks and the skill levels of your children to build.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.  AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing patterns and shapes, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Art

Explain to the children that you are going to build houses.  Give each child 3 graham crackers and a tiny bit of frosting.  First show them how to carefully break the graham crackers in half to get 6 squares and then them how to spread the frosting on the edges of the cracker to use for paste.  Put on the walls and the roof.  Use small pieces of licorice strings to embellish with windows and doors.  Glue embellishments on with frosting.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence/grows  in abilities to persist and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.  AND Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials  in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Sand and Water

Add dampened sand today and encourage the children to dig burrows and make caves.  

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials  in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Library and Writing

Have the children to draw a picture of their house. Ask the children to tell you three things about their house (the door is red, my room is upstairs, I got a window that looks at the street).  Write their responses at the bottom of the page.  Put all the pictures in a book form and title it Whose House?  As you read the pages, the children can guess whose house it is.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.  AND Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading-related activities, such as asking to have a favorite books read;  choosing to look at books; drawing pictures based on stories; asking to take books home; going to the library; and engaging in pretend reading with other children.

Dramatic Play

Put out any play tools you have and let the children pretend to build a house.  Add flashlight, tape measure or ruler, and hard hats.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become  more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

 On index cards write numbers 1-5.  Use the tool pictures and ask the children to name the item.  Repeat back the object clapping out the syllables.  Ask the child to count the syllables while they repeat/clap the word. Put the item above the correct number index card.  How many items have one syllable, two syllables, etc..

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words.  AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects,

Outdoor Play

Bring out any large boxes that you have collected. Put paint into large enough containers that the children can easily get the paintbrushes and rollers into it.  Put the boxes with the opening facing down.  Allow the children to paint the boxes to make houses. With the children decide where the teacher will cut the windows and doors once the paint dries.  Let the children use the houses on the playground.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.  AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools, including pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various types of technology. 

Transitions

Hold up a tool card.  Can the child name the tool?  Can they tell how the tool is used or pantomime using the tool?  Let the children take turns naming tools as they go to their next activity.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions, and for other varied purposes.

Dear Parent- Today we read a story about building a home.  Take a walk through your house today and see if your child can name all the different rooms and their purpose.  Or, open up your home tool box and show your child the various tools that you use to keep up and maintain your home.  If possible, give your child a scrap of wood so that they may experience hammering, screwing, and sawing.

Resources

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.